Able seafarer apprenticeship

Work as part of the navigation department on ships and other vessels

An able seafarer works on deck aboard ships and vessels, acting as the watchkeepers of the crew. During the able seafarer apprenticeship, you’ll spend significant periods of time at sea, maintaining the safety and security of the vessel, cargo and personnel on board, and undertaking a range of practical seafarer skills covering ropework, anchoring and mooring activities and operations. You’ll work a shift rota over 24 hours, so early mornings and late nights are possible, and you’ll likely work with other seafarers of different nationalities. Integral to your role will be adhering to safe and environmentally responsible working practices and international regulations, without endangering yourself, others or the marine environment. You’ll also have a range of security duties to carry out during the course of your work.


Duration: 18 months

Relevant school subjects: PE

Entry requirements for the able seafarer apprenticeship: Depend on employer, but likely GCSEs or equivalent qualifications or relevant experience

Achievement upon completion: Level 2 (Intermediate)—equivalent to GCSEs

Potential salary upon completion: £25,000 per annum

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